Not a creature was stirring in front of Starbucks this morning, but it takes more than rain to keep the truly caffeine-addicted away. While no one was sitting outside, the crowd inside ranged from our favorite building manager to television actress Alyssa Milano.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Move over wacky chicken mobile (see Photo #2), we have a new candidate for the Santa Monica Hall of Automotive Absurdities. This morning a six-year-old girl went tooling by our favorite Starbuck's in her very own fully-loaded pink corvette convertible. To her credit, she did a better job than most drivers at avoiding the pitfalls of our favorite parking lot!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
If cleanliness is next to Godliness then we had a taste of heaven and hell today at Starbucks. The fun began when a suspicious looking van -- pictured here -- rolled into our favorite parking lot advertising a "Car Wash." Judging from the occupants/residents of this vehicle, I for one have my doubts! Moments later, as if to generate business for the would be cleaning crew, Bob inadvertently spilled his coffee all over the table. Richard: Maybe you should have asked our friends in the van to give Charlie a quick once over? In any case, thanks for the photo and stay dry, everyone!
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Quick, call The Daily Planet! Veteran television actress Noel Neill -- perhaps best known as Lois Lane on The Adventures of Superman -- swooped into Patrick's Roadhouse today for a quick Taco Salad. "That was great, I was starved," said the beloved actress. The rare photo on the left features the back of Neill's head. Photo #2 shows the actress in her prime. For more information on Noel Neill, click here: Everything You Wanted to Know About Noel Neill.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
In local news this morning, even the closure of our favorite Starbuck's couldn't dampen the 7th and Montana holiday spirit. Like many, I migrated South today in search of caffeine and good cheer. And while no one was exactly roasting chestnuts, there was quite a gathering around the perennial open fire at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, where the crowd ranged from our friendly neighborhood news hound Dennis to the kooky assistant manager-in-training who sent Nada flying to the emergency room on December 4 (E.R.: The Starbuck's Edition). I don't know what was scarier, the fact that this disaster-in-training has hit the Coffee Bean or that he was allowed near an open flame. Meanwhile, back at 7th and Montana, not a creature was stirring ... except for Gary and Princess who had the place to themselves.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Thanks Terry and Fabrizio for bringing a taste of old Italy to 7th and Montana this morning. The Cialde di Montecatini was the best I've ever tasted. O.K., so it was the only Cialde di Montecatini I've ever tasted but what a great way to ring in the holidays! Rumor has it that our favorite Starbuck's is closed tomorrow. The one over at 15th and Montana will be open but who wants to go all that distance?!? See you Monday.
Friday, December 23, 2005
It was foam for the holidays at Starbuck's this morning as 7th and Montana regular Kathy gave a stirring demonstration of her cappuccino foam drinking technique. If, as James Bond once said, a Martini should be shaken but not stirred, then perhaps a cappuccino should be whipped before sipped. Thanks, Kathy, for the demonstration. Even Charlie was practically foaming at the mouth!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
The crowd at 7th and Montana was all ears this morning as two mysterious newcomers horned in on our favorite Starbucks. Yes, a pair of ace musicians -- friends of Howard -- provided an impromptu concert. While I personally missed the fun, I, too was on the horn: stuck on a never-ending conference call. Thanks to Richard for providing the great photo and thanks to Howard and his friends for the trumpet act!
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Is it my imagination, or does the "Angel" atop my sister's Christmas tree look like it's having a bad hair day? While inside sources claim the unusual holiday ornament is "possessed," I think it bears a striking resemblance to a woman last seen ordering a double latte at 7th and Montana. In any case, the fright wig alone was enough to scare the antlers off my sister's cat (see photo two). Karen: I don't know what possessed you to buy this ornament, but I'm sending you and Doug an Exorcist for Christmas!
Saturday, December 17, 2005
He's baaaack! Our favorite slumlord made a brief appearance today at Starbuck's in his snazzy BMW SUV. Recently described by The Los Angeles Times as "one of Los Angeles' most notorious landlords," Mr. Slumlord is as much a fixture at 7th and Montana as the umbrellas he steals on sunny days. Today, however, he took his cappuccino to go. Rumor has it he was in a rush to get to the Toys-for-Tots donation center!
Is it a Yule Log or is it Santa Claus? That's the question puzzled onlookers asked themselves this morning at the scene of Tsukuba's most unusual Christmas display, a life-sized statue of Kris Kringle and his reindeer friends made entirely of driftwood. The statue, pictured here, stands guard at the Tsukuba-Narita Airport Bus Station, alongside a gigantic, driftwood Godzilla. Let's hope the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau doesn't get any ideas!
Thursday, December 15, 2005
HOLD it in YOUR hand
LOVE it IN your TUMMY.
new soft WRAP sundae.
No, friends, this isn't an advertisement for fermented soy beans and bright pink fish mousse (see photo 2). It's the sign in front of Tsukuba's latest taste sensation, Atlanta CRAZY Crepes. Who knew that Atlanta was known for its CRAZY crepes?!?
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I stopped by our favorite Starbuck's today on my way to Tsukuba City but the only thing percolating was my Grande Drip. Not that I'm complaining ... things could always be worse. I could be chug-a-lugging a steaming cup of "Drip On," the Japanese instant coffee of choice. Just one look at the container, alone, is enough to make this Drip sign off for the evening. Sayonara!
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Actor Elijah Wood stopped by 7th and Montana this morning for a quick Egg Nogg latte and a Sunday stroll with his mystery date (see Photo #1). The Lord of the Rings star barely missed the arrival of a creature wearing jeans that looked like they've been to the Middle Earth and back. Even Bilbo Baggins wouldn't be caught dead in these holier-than-thou duds (see Photo #2).
Saturday, December 10, 2005
In a startling local development, Santa Monica residents flocked to the corner of 7th and Montana this morning on reports that a lone Building Manager was precariously perched atop our favorite Blockbuster. While inside sources maintain that he was simply "performing minor repairs," others speculate that he was actually scouting locations for Montana Avenue's first-ever Mediterranean Rooftop Restaurant. Careful, Ralph, that first step's a doozy!
It was a warm reunion for everyone this morning at Starbucks as Kelly -- daughter of Andree, our favorite Harley-riding, Equestrian Barista -- stopped by for a cup of coffee and an earful of gossip. Kelly: Even though we never met, it was nice "reuniting" with you all the same. Tell your mom "hello" from the "Grande Half-Caff with the L.A. Times."
Meanwhile, for anyone wishing to "reunite" with human beings instead of those evil, automated voice recognition systems we discussed this morning, here is a link to the information Kathy was describing: nbc4.com - Digital Edge - Learn How To Bypass Computerized Operators. And for those who really hate these systems as much as I do, here's a link to a special list of phone numbers allowing you to reach actual human beings at businesses ranging from Ikea to Bank of America: IVR Cheat Sheet(tm) by Paul English. My advice to you: Brush up on your Indian languages before trying to call anyone! Here's a link to a Hindi language translator: Word AnyWhere: Hindi English and Other Indian Languages Dictionary.
Thursday, December 8, 2005
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
It was anything but Happy Days this morning for Actor-Director Ron Howard as he tried unsuccessfully to find a parking spot at our favorite Starbucks. After briefly blocking traffic, he came up with a solution worthy of Opie: He sent someone to get his coffee while he circled the block repeatedly in his snazzy new BMW (pictured here). Always the entertainer, Howard put on a show for us all by hitting the curb with a resounding clunk on his third spin through the parking lot.
Monday, December 5, 2005
Sunday, December 4, 2005
In local news this morning, Howard's bagel was once again Toasted to Perfection. For those who don't know, Toasted to Perfection means that it was golden brown on the outside and reportedly soft and chewy on the inside. Congratulations, Howard. A toast to you, Kathy and your new toaster oven!
Thanks, also, to Howard for sharing this link to an important address from President Bush: Badmash
The caffeine crowd was buzzing today on reports that one of our favorite Baristas, Nada, took a nasty spill and had to be rushed from 7th and Montana to the emergency room. At precisely 7:10 this morning, a slip-up on the part of a new Assistant Manager in Training set off a chain of events leading Nada to slip-up herself, fall to the floor and injure her shoulder. In an exclusive, on-the-scene interview, Nada (see Photo #1), was the picture of heroism as she recounted the incident at length. As for the Assistant Manager in Training, who left a wet rubber mat in a precarious position behind the counter, we're taking bets on his future.
Meanwhile, as if to say "Nada mas," neighborhood news hound Dennis could be seen trying to get a copy of The Los Angeles Times out of the machine as if his life depended on it (See Photo #2). Sorry, Dennis, I guess no news is good news ... !
Saturday, December 3, 2005
A super-stretch limo was seen circling repeatedly around our favorite Starbucks this morning like a dog with an urge. The occupants, however, remain a mystery. Could it have been Ron Howard returning for another cup of Joe or was it, perhaps, the notorious slumlord who lives down the lane? If anyone has any information, please let me know. In other local news, Zoey made another new friend today (see photo two).
Confidential to those who saw me running after "The Singing Bicyclist:" The photo was a disappointment. I really need to get a zoom lens for my cell phone before "The Singing Nun" shows up.
File this under "adding insult to injury:" I've complained to AOL about the intrusive advertising they've added to their blogs. Nothing against ads, but I personally think that placing large banner ads across the top of a paying AOL member's journal with graphics that obscure even the name of the journal, is an insult. The injury came this morning when I noticed that my own company has placed one of these ads (probably without realizing how it is being positioned on the AOL service). I'll have a word with our head of advertising about this and share with him the many complaints from AOL members that have been posted online about this particular advertising practice along with the negative media coverage AOL has received on the topic. Read more here: AOL Journals: You've Got Ads
Friday, December 2, 2005
In case you were wondering, I'm NOT fixated on the building across from our favorite Starbucks. However, my news gathering process has hit a snag: On mornings when I arrive prior to 7:30 a.m., the only available news seems to relate to the building across the street. Hence, the following:
Inside sources reveal that the parking lot at our favorite Blockbuster will be completely repaved. An asphalt crew should be arriving any day now.